Pension & Benefits NetNews – October 10, 2017

 

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Featured This Week

 

Employee Benefits Management News

 

  • Expert reminds calendar year plans to implement new SBC requirements during this year’s open enrollment
  • Nearly one-third of employers offer vacation time donation
  • 2018 per diem rates issued for travel expense reimbursements
  • New regulations provide opportunity for moral objection to contraceptive coverage

Pension Plan Guide News

 

  • DOL provides compliance guidance for employee benefit plans adversely affected by Hurricane Harvey
  • PBGC issues disaster relief for Florida
  • PBGC issues disaster relief for Puerto Rico

 

Employee Benefits Management News

 

Expert reminds calendar year plans to implement new SBC requirements during this year’s open enrollment

While “not a lot has changed from last year, from a compliance standpoint, when it comes to open enrollment,” the new Summary of Benefits and Coverage (SBC) template and uniform glossary need to be implemented during this year’s open enrollment for calendar year plans, according to Mike Sinkeldam, a principal for Mercer’s Health and Benefits practice. For more information, see ¶2109W.

        (Read Intelliconnect) »

Nearly one-third of employers offer vacation time donation

The International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans (IFEBP) has released results from a new report, “Paid Leave in the Workplace: 2017 Survey Results.” The report shows that: 30% of employers with paid vacation allow workers to donate paid vacation days; 28% of employers offering paid-time-off (PTO) plans allow workers to donate paid time off; and 22% of employers who provide paid sick leave allow workers to donate sick leave. For more information, see ¶2109X.

        (Read Intelliconnect) »

2018 per diem rates issued for travel expense reimbursements

The IRS has provided the 2017-2018 special per diem rates for taxpayers to use to substantiate ordinary and necessary business expenses incurred while traveling away from home. For the rates, see ¶2109Z.

        (Read Intelliconnect) »

New regulations provide opportunity for moral objection to contraceptive coverage

Two new interim final rules from the IRS, the Labor Department, and the HHS, effective October 6, 2017, have sliced through the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) (P.L. 111-148) contraception mandate by providing additional exemptions for objecting employers and insurers. In addition to religious organizations objecting on grounds of religious beliefs, non-religious groups may now decline to cover contraceptives based on “sincerely held moral convictions.” For more information see ¶2110D.

        (Read Intelliconnect) »

Pension Plan Guide News

 

DOL provides compliance guidance for employee benefit plans adversely affected by Hurricane Harvey

The Department of Labor (DOL) has issued guidance for parties connected to ERISA-covered employee benefit plans that have been adversely affected by Hurricane Harvey. The DOL states that it understands that plan fiduciaries, employers, labor organizations, service providers, participants, and beneficiaries may have plan compliance-related problems in the foreseeable future. The relief provided in this guidance applies generally to employee benefit plans, plan sponsors, employers, employees, and plan service providers that were located in one of the counties that have been identified by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as covered disaster areas because of the damage caused by Hurricane Harvey, and is in addition to the Form 5500 relief furnished by the IRS in the Hurricane Harvey news release. For more information, see ¶152u.

        (Read Intelliconnect) »

PBGC issues disaster relief for Florida

The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) has announced relief from certain deadlines and penalties in connection with the Form 5500 series for “designated persons” adversely affected by Hurricane Irma that began on September 4, 2017 in Florida. The relief generally extends from September 4, 2017 through January 31, 2018. For more information, see ¶153b.

        (Read Intelliconnect) »

PBGC issues disaster relief for Puerto Rico

The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) has announced relief from certain deadlines and penalties in connection with the Form 5500 series for “designated persons” adversely affected by Hurricane Irma that began on September 5, 2017 in Puerto Rico. The relief generally extends from September 5, 2017 through January 31, 2018. For more information, see ¶153d.

        (Read Intelliconnect) »

 

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